Being a Poet

Yesterday I bought
a blender — blue — from
Briscoes, just like
Marion’s. Today
we’re dealing with the big
issues, like:  How the World
Can We Have Fruit Loops
For Breakfast?

Friends ask
what I’m reading.
By the bed is Go, dog. Go.
We looked at it this morning
just before our fight
over the nature of
Weetbix.  But it’s soggy
every morning
, I hear myself say
that’s just what Weetbix does
that’s just its way

Jenny Bornholdt was born in Wellington in 1960. Although that city remains her home, she is currently living in Menton, France, as recipient of the 2002 Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship. She began writing in earnest after attending the Original Composition course at Victoria University of Wellington. Her collections of verse are This Big Face (1988), Moving House (1989), Waiting Shelter(1991), How We Met (1995), Miss New Zealand: Selected Poems (1997) and These Days (2000). She is married to Gregory O’Brien, who makes occasional appearances as a character in her poems. They co-edited My Heart Goes Swimming: New Zealand Love Poems (1996) and, with Mark Williams, edited An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English (1997), which won the 1997 Montana New Zealand Book Award for Poetry.

Bornholdt comments: “I’ve often written poems about ‘domestic’ life, or neighbourhoods — I guess I’m a poet of the ‘local’, but at the time I wrote this poem I found it difficult to make poems out of the rather chaotic domestic space I was inhabiting. Also, I hadn’t expected to (with two small children to care for) and felt rather thrown when well-meaning people asked what was I writing? This was my response. I was very pleased with the rhyme at the end — it just arrived as I wrote my way through the poem. I feel bound to say that the bit about buying a blender isn’t true. I meant to buy one — it was just one of the many things I didn’t get around to doing that year.”

Poem source details >



New Zealand Book Council writer file
Victoria University Press author page